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Wednesday, August 03, 2022

Beer and White Cheddar Mussels

 Mussels, from PEI, are wonderful, versatile, crazy easy to prepare, super healthy, and sustainable.  They are also regularly available at Gimli Fish.

I've prepared these mussels with beer and white cheddar.  

First, clean the mussels.  also easy.  Clean off any beards and throw away and broken mussels or ones that don't close, even when tapping them.  Place cleaned mussels in some salt water to remove any more grit.  Set aside in the fridge after draining and rinsing the mussels.

Prepare the sauce in a large enough pot with a lid.


Beer and White Cheddar Mussels

1 lb fresh mussels, cleaned

1 finely diced shallot

2 tbs butter

1 beer

2 cloves garlic, minced

2 cups shredded white cheddar

1 tbs corn starch

1 tbs Dijon mustard

white pepper, to taste

1/2 tsp ground nutmeg

salt, to taste

Options:  chopped peppers, sautéed mushrooms, microgreens, etc.

For the sauce;

Sauté the shallot in butter until translucent.  Add the minced garlic.  Toss the corn starch with the white cheddar.  The starch allows you to prepare the sauce without lumps.  Add the beer and when simmering, add the white cheddar slowly.  Add the remaining ingredients.  Bring to a good simmer and add the mussels.  Stir and cover with the lid.  Cook for 5+ minutes, or until the mussels open.  Stir and serve in a large serving bowl.

Enjoy with toasts or crisp fries.

Monday, June 06, 2022

Thai Coconut Curry Squash

This dish is so easy to prepare, once you have broken down the squash.  It is also quite versatile.  



1 tablespoons coconut oil (or any oil really) 

1 large shallots, chopped (or 2 small)

6-10 lime leaves

2-2 ½ cups diced squash. I used Boston Marrow, but you can use butternut, Hubbard, or your favourite variety 

1 tablespoon grated ginger

2-3 tablespoons yellow curry paste 

1 (15 ounce) can coconut milk or make coconut cream and milk about 2 cups

1 cup vegetable or chicken broth

2 teaspoons fish sauce (try black vinegar for vegans/vegetarians)

2 teaspoons brown sugar

3-4 cups fresh baby spinach


Heat cooking pot to medium high heat.  Add coconut oil and chopped shallots with the lime leaves and cook until the shallots are softened.  Add the ginger and yellow curry paste and cook for a minute before adding the coconut milk, squash, broth, fish sauce, and brown sugar.  Cook until the squash is soft, simmering on medium low, stirring.  Add spinach and continue cooking.  Serve with rice.  Enjoy!

Monday, February 21, 2022

French Onion Soup - Comfort in the Cold

 In the midst of another blizzard and cold snap, French Onion Soup to the rescue!  First, the stock:


Beef Stock

2 (ish) kg beef bones for stock
4 carrots, peeled and large diced
3 celery, large diced
2 Spanish onions, large diced
4 tablespoons tomato paste (a Turkish or Italian variety is richest)
1 leek
1 bunch parsley
4 sprigs thyme
2 bay leaves
8 peppercorns
1 cup red wine

1. Place beef bones in a large roasting pan and roast in a 375ºF oven for 45 minutes, or until the bones begin to become golden brown.
2. Place the onions, celery and carrots on top of bones and place back in oven and roast another 30 minutes or until the vegetables begin to brown.
3. Coat bones with tomato paste and place back in the oven again and roast until tomato paste until it starts to brown but do not let it burn, approximately 15 minutes.
4. Place bones and vegetables into a large stock pot along with remaining ingredients. Cover the bones with cold water and bring pot to a simmer.
5. While bringing the pot to simmer, place the roasting pan over a burner and add the red wine. Scrape the bits from the bottom of the pan using the wine to deglaze the pan, add wine and bits to the stock pot.
6. Once water comes to a boil, set to a low simmer, and skim the stock of scum and fat for the first two hours.
7. Leave stock pot on a low simmer for about 4 hours. Periodically skim excess fat from the top of the pot and add water if necessary.
8. Remove pot from heat and strain stock through a fine sieve. Place into individual containers and store in the refrigerator for up to a week or the freezer for up to a month. 

Next, the soup

French Onion Soup

3-8 red onions, depending on size and personal tastes, shredded 

drizzle olive oil

salt and pepper, to taste

sprig of thyme

a few litres beef stock

red wine, or cognac

toasts and cheese (Emmenthal, Oka, or other sharp white cheese)

Sauté the onions in olive oil until translucent and soft.  Season with salt and pepperAdd beef stock and simmer.  Add wine or cognac.  Simmer for about an hour.

Prepare toasts with cheese.  Ladle soup into oven-proof bowls.  Place cheese toasts on top.  Broil until browned.  Serve and enjoy!



Sunday, November 28, 2021

Squash Pancakes, a Korean snack in time for Hanukkah

 Happy Hanukkah!  A miraculous time of frying in oil!  

These light, vegan and gluten-free (if desired) squash pancakes are a Korean snack that work nicely as fried Hanukkah treat.


Korean Squash Pancakes


1 small squash, peeled, seeded and grated (not spaghetti squash, but most other kinds, including pumpkin.  Small, as in Acorn Squash, or enough to make 4-6 cups grated)

2 tbs sugar

1 tbs salt

Tamarack Farms Yellow Pea flour, to create batter texture. (May use AP flour, wild rice flour, rice flour, etc.  Use what you would for gluten-free cooking, or without regular flour. ) Quantity of flour depends on the amount of liquid in the squash.


I tested a few methods.  One recipe suggested not to grate the squash or put it through a food processor grater, as she didn't wish to clean it up, and recommended fine match-stick cutting of the squash.  I found that I had the best results with grating it.  

Grate the squash and mix with the salt and sugar.  Let sit for 10 - 30 minutes.  You will see liquid in the bowl.  You need the liquid.  

Mix in enough yellow pea flour or desired flour to make a batter.  Let the batter rest.

Fry pancakes in oil, until crisp on each side, about 6-8 minutes.  Enjoy immediately, with some soy sauce or hot sauce, or save for later service.


Tuesday, September 21, 2021

Chicken Souvlaki

 There are many ways to prepare this dish, and there are many similarities between Turkish and Greek dishes. I’m using my Turkish Baharat but it is also excellent with Duq’qah. It is also one of the few recipes that I use chicken breast, but thighs are excellent as well. 

Chicken Souvlaki 

(Serves 4)

4 chicken breasts, cubed

1-2 tbs Turkish Baharat or Duq’qah (or a combination of cumin, mint, pepper, cinnamon, coriander)

1 tsp salt

3-6 cloves garlic, finely chopped 

Good drizzle olive oil 

2-3 tbs lemon juice 

Mix all ingredients together and let marinate, in the fridge, for a few hours. 

Fry or grill until fully cooked. Enjoy with pita bread and tzatziki. 

Sunday, September 19, 2021

Easy and elegant saffron tomato scallops

 Easy and elegant seared scallops with a saffron tomato sauce 

(For 2-4 people)

4-6 scallops per person, dried well and seasoned with salt and pepper 

Available at Gimli Fish 

1 onion, thinly sliced 

2-6 cloves garlic, finely chopped 

Butter, for sauce and searing the scallops (1 tbs for sauce, 1-2 tbs for searing)

Good pinch of saffron 

1 cup of tomato passata or crushed tomatoes 

1/4 - 1/2 cup of red wine (alternatively, orange juice, for a lighter, summery flavour)

Favourite herbs

Salt and pepper 

Dry and season the scallops and set aside until the end. 

In a small saucepan, heat saffron and butter on medium heat. Add the thinly sliced onions and cook until translucent and beginning to brown. Add remaining ingredients. 

Heat pan for the scallops to medium high heat to high heat. Add butter. Place each scallop in the pan and let sear, without turning, for one- 2 minutes, swirling the butter around.  When they have developed a nice brown crust, turn them over and repeat. 

Serve the scallops immediately over the sauce, on a plate. 


Sunday, August 29, 2021

Roasted or grilled Duq'qah Spatchcock Chicken or Cornish Game Hen

 Impress yourself and your guests!  This is so easy to prepare, with excellent results.  

Duq'qah Spatchcock Chicken (or Cornish Game Hens)

1-2 chickens, depending on number of guests, or, generally 1/2 Cornish Game hen per guest

Dijon mustard, to coat the hens

Duq'qah (Dukkah, Duckah, etc), to coat the hens

drizzle olive oil

Sprinkle salt, to tastes

With Kitchen shears, cut out the spines of the hens, and reserve for chicken stock (in a freezer for later use).  Flatten the hens and coat lightly with the Dijon mustard.  Coat again with the Duq'qah and pinches of salt.  Chill until ready to cook.  

Preheat oven to 350ºF.  Place hens in a roaster or prepare for the grill, with a drizzle of olive oil.  Roast, flattened in the pan, for about an hour, or until the meat is loose from the bones.  If on the grill, heat low and slow and turn hens every few minutes, until cooked through.  

Let the meat rest.

Cut at the table.  Enjoy!